My own private Ida-server.
December 9, 2010 1:04 PM   Subscribe

At work, my files are saved on a server which is automatically backed up. At home, my files are saved on my computer, which is backed up occasionally, whenever I remember to and have the time. I'd like to make a home setup that's more like my work setup. Is there a service available where I can buy space on a networked server with professional level backups to keep my personal files and protect them from loss?

Ideally, I'd like to be able to access those files as easily as I can access the server at work: go to the finder, click on an icon, access the server. I don't intend to run my applications from a server, though I will keep backups of the files there.

I'm on a MacBook Pro running OS 10.4, if it makes a difference, though part of the reason I want such a solution is to make it not matter what kind of computer I'm using.
posted by ocherdraco to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
posted by carmel at 1:18 PM on December 9, 2010

Also, Backblaze, JungleDisk, Mozy, Carbonite, Crashplan.

I use JungleDisk at work and it's really great. You do pay storage fees though, so it's not an unlimited for $50 / year kind of thing. It uses Amazon S3 or Rackspace Cloud for storage.

I chose Backblaze for my home backups and it's worked really well. They built their own specialized storage servers and seem like a really smart company. Plus, you can seed your backup by sending them a hard drive if you have a ton of content to back up.
posted by reddot at 1:33 PM on December 9, 2010

I use Mozy at home and like it a lot...but, those files aren't easily accessible away from home (at least not easy in the sense that you've described). If you have 2GB or less, go with Carmel's suggestion and use Dropbox.
posted by Yunani at 1:42 PM on December 9, 2010

And if you didn't want or care about "off site", get a Time Machine.
posted by reddot at 1:50 PM on December 9, 2010

Thirding Dropbox. It's easy as pie.

My brother-in-law swears by SugarSync -- it has more free GB of storage on the free plan than Dropbox (5 vs. 2). I haven't tried it yet.
posted by puritycontrol at 2:07 PM on December 9, 2010

I use Dropbox, SugarSync and CrashPlan.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to access those files as easily as I can access the server at work:

Do you want to access any file from home on the work computer? If so Dropbox or Sugarsync will not be economical.

However, If you really want to just access a certain part of your drive (current projects for example) then you can just leave those folders in your dropbox/sugarsync folder and it will get synced between both computers.

SugarSync has more flexibility than dropbox. You can choose a one-way sync, two-way sync, and how different devices sync with each other. You can also selectively choose folders (leaving them where they are instead of moving it to a single sync folder) to sync (although dropbox seems to have recently introduced this feature). So my recommendation would be to sign up for SugarSync since it gives you 5GB free and that will hold frequently accessed files for most people.

That said, you should still consider an additional backup service. There are many online backup services that cost ~$50/year and will run unnoticed in the background. I use CrashPlan which is set to back up all my files every 15 minutes (after 3 months it keeps one version per day), and never deletes a single file from my backup even if it disappears from my HD. It has saved me many times.
posted by special-k at 2:33 PM on December 9, 2010

I use Wuala, it seems to solve the privacy problem best.
posted by Triton at 3:14 PM on December 9, 2010

I have been spending the $5 for Mozy and consider it money well spent. It works really well if you want to make sure that a subset of your files is always up to date -- but much less well if what you want is a complete disk image backup, such that in the unlikely event of a water landing, you could restore the backup onto a fresh hard drive and be good to go in an hour or so. Remember, the larger the file set, the longer it takes to back up to the cloud -- and also the longer it takes to restore.

So I use an external hard drive plus Time Machine to back up my entire drive weekly, and let Mozy automatically back up my Documents and Work folders whenever it wants to. Seems pretty slick.
posted by ottereroticist at 3:21 PM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: Do you want to access any file from home on the work computer?

Ideally, yes. But I'm flexible if there's not a good option for that.

Dropbox and SugarSync look like the closest thing to what I'm looking for. How reliable is SugarSync? This is the first I've ever heard of it.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:37 PM on December 9, 2010

Years ago I used to use Mozy and it was good as a back-up utility, but then I discovered sync software and abandoned Mozy.

These days, Sugarsync and dropbox are my go-to programs. I work for a small company and use Sugarsync to sync in real-time all my work files and some personal files between my PC at the office and PC at home. The killer feature for me is the ability to customize different sync folders all around a hard drive. (Dropbox claims to be adding this feature eventually). It is also really simple to access files from any smartphone or similar device.

I use dropbox to share some media and other files with my girlfriend. We both share a free account and can send each other songs and other stuff to our ipads, phones or otherwise.

One day I'm sure I'll figure out how to consolidate to just a single program.
posted by jameslavelle3 at 3:43 PM on December 9, 2010

nth'ing DropBox. When used *as the folder where your files live*, it's almost magical. There was a moment yesterday where I fired-up my old laptop, and was pleasantly surprised to find much of what I use on a regular basis was automatically just 'there'. I'm usually skeptical about backup and sync tools, but DropBox is one of those things that surprisingly just works.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 5:49 PM on December 9, 2010

Big Dropbox fan here; recently upgraded to one of their paid plans.
posted by mrbill at 1:54 PM on December 10, 2010

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